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Columns

  • To the Point: Resuscitating Marie Antoinette

    I’ve always thought of progressive taxation — the more you make, the more you pay — as a universally advantageous alternative to revolution.

    I recall that I first learned this heretical distinction during my liberal arts education at Highlands, which included reading Montaigne, Bentham, Hume, Locke, Smith and others of their ilk. I don’t know that these stalwarts are still on the required reading lists, but there might be some gain if they were.

  • Work of Art: Tell me model, make, year

    By Art Trujillo

    Las Vegas Optic

    As a child, I’d spend a lot of time waiting for my dad to get off work at B.M. Werley Auto Co., then the Ford Dealership on Grand Avenue.

    I knew all the front-office staff and most of those in the garage. Remember, in those days, new cars were guaranteed to break at least once on being driven for the first time. That kept the backshop full and the crew busy.

  • Publisher’s Note: Enter a new year

    For six years, managing editor David Giuliani occupied this spot on this particular day. But now, dedicated readers of the Optic know, he’s gone. Off to a newspaper in Illinois, where I’m confident he’ll do well.

    Giuliani was the consummate journalist. During his time at the Optic, he reported on the good, bad and ugly of our community without hesitation. I’m convinced that this newspaper and our community is better because of his work and dedication.

  • Showing Mercy: Being who I am

    Who am I? That question lingered through my mind daily for years. I know I’m a partner, a daughter, an aunt, a granddaughter, a sister, a sister-in-law and a friend. But, really, who am I?

    I’m Hispanic, 5-foot-7, a woman, 31, a journalist by trade, a dreamer and I’m not stating my weight, unlike my colleague Art Trujillo. But more importantly, I happen to be in love with someone of the same sex. Yes, I am a lesbian and proud of who I am.

  • Work of Art: Laugh? Thought I’d never start

    By Art Trujillo

    Rather than attempt Comedy Central, let me explain that I have absolutely no talent when it comes to telling those long, drawn-out, elaborate situational anecdotes that require a series of repetitive remarks (“and then the genie asked the third man ...) followed by a punchless line.

    In fact, where there’s laughter in my environment, it’s usually the result of some slip of the tongue, a one-liner, or something serendipitous, in which people are laughing at me rather than with me. And that’s all right too.

  • As It Is: Thank you, Las Vegas

    A couple of years ago, I was walking to my car on the other side of town. It was during a big snowstorm.

    I was on Eighth Street around 7 p.m., my hood tied tight around my head. It was dark, so you couldn’t make out who I was. Snow covered me.

    A couple of women — looked to be in their 30s — stopped and asked me if I needed a ride to where I was going. They said I must have been cold.

    Their offer impressed me. They had no idea who I was. They didn’t know my race, my nationality, my economic status.

  • Work of Art: I’m not saying it was windy

    By Art Trujillo

    Many people talked as if they’d never seen or felt anything like it. “This is the worst wind we’ve had,” was oft-repeated.

    Remember, this is Las Vegas, where nobody remains unhappy about the weather, because it changes so often.

    Where else can we have five consecutive days of dry, freezing cold, followed by two summer-like days, followed by winds up to 74 mph, and then a foot of snow? Winds between 74 and 95 mph constitute a Category 1 hurricane.

  • As It Is: Montaño took tough questions

    Ramon “Swoops” Montaño left recently as president of the Las Vegas City Schools board. He was never one to shy away from controversy or avoid people’s calls.

    We should know. The school district has had its share of controversies over the years, yet Montaño has always been accessible to our newspaper. He has spoken with us when it would have been a lot easier for him to get into his bunker.

    Patrick Romero is the other member of the board who has been equally accessible. Phillip Vigil has been available to a lesser extent.

  • Another perspective: Questions that need answers

    The problems which beset the Las Vegas City Schools have had the attention of our community over the past weeks and months. The increases to property taxes certainly arouse the attention of many people.

    Although taxes are important, they don’t however overshadow our responsibility to provide students a quality education in a safe and caring environment.

  • Work of Art: A friend of Elizabeth Edwards

    By Art Trujillo

    Las Vegas Optic

    The world lost a bright, dedicated, articulate woman last week when Elizabeth Ed-wards died of breast cancer. She was the estranged wife of John Edwards, who appeared in Las Vegas in 2004, as the Democratic running mate of John Kerry.

    John Edwards sought the presidential nomination in 2008 but lost to Barack Obama. One person who knew the late Mrs. Edwards well is Kate Lockwood, a nurse and massage therapist from Las Vegas.